Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes rise 5% in October: IATA
Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes expanded 5% in October compared to the same period a year earlier, International Air Transport Association has said in a report. Capacity increased by 8.8% over the same period. There are signs of a pick-up in seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand helped by more trade to and from Europe and Asia, it said. Releasing data for global air freight markets IATA said demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), rose 3.1% in October 2018, compared to the same period the year before. This pace of growth was up from a 29-month low of 2.5% in September.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), rose by 5.4% year-onyear in October this year. “This was the eighth month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand,” IATA said. Growing international e-commerce and an upturn in the global investment cycle are supporting the growth. However, demand continues to be negatively impacted by a contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations in October; longer supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe; weakened consumer confidence compared to very high levels at the beginning of 2018, IATA noted.
IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, “Cargo is a tough business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the end of 2018. Slow but steady growth continues despite trade tensions. The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets. And yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note.”
Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight grows by 1.9% in October 2018, compared to the same period last year. This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month.
Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier delivery times particularly in China and Korea impacted the demand. As the largest freight-flying region, carrying more than one-third of the total, the risks from rising trade tensions are disproportionately high. Capacity increased by 4.2%.
African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 4.2% in October 2018, compared to the same month last year. This was the seventh time in eight months that demand shrank. Capacity increased by 5.4% year-on-year. Demand conditions on all key markets to and from Africa remain weak. “Nonetheless, seasonallyadjusted international freight volumes have stopped declining and recovered sharply in recent months,” IATA said.